I’ve completed another month in the Quality Assurance (QA) Department and it’s been just as enjoyable and interesting as my first.
During this month I’ve continued to work on the Operational Qualification (OQ) of a job we will have running on some machinery we have recently purchased. We need to validate the machinery and the stability of our process and OQ forms part of the protocols and reports required to do this. I’ve also been measuring a lot of parts and materials for this job; to measure the yield from the roll.
I was very happy to reach an important milestone this month – I got my inspector stamp! What this means is that I can officially inspect parts on my own and confirm whether they meet specification. I’m one of only two women in the company to have the inspector stamp, the other being our Continuous Improvement Manager. It’s nice that I no longer need to ask others to check over what I have already checked.
I was out and about again this month, this time to 3M’s Head Office in Bracknell. 3M are a global supplier of innovative adhesive materials and are a key supplier of ours. We were invited to visit their new innovation centre where they showcase their varied technologies and innovative way of thinking. I really enjoyed the visit and found it very interesting learning about the products and brands they produce; it felt very random seeing things I have at home such as creams when I thought they just made adhesive tapes. It was also very interesting to see where adhesive materials can be used, such as in road signs using their highly reflective products.
It was so interesting to see how the company started out and became so successful, in so many areas and it was nice seeing how everyone was so interested in their work.
My next trip out is to Sussex Precision, an engineering company we use for equipment components. I have designed a camera calibration plate stand, for new in-line camera inspection technology that we are working on. Precision Engineering is making this for us and I’ll be visiting them to finalise everything for it to be made up. We use them regularly and I’ll be using this opportunity to meet our contacts and to get to know everyone there.
College is still going well; I have begun a new subject called “mechanical principles” which I’m enjoying; probably because there’s a lot of maths involved with the subject. It also looks at topics such as resultant force, stress and strain and motion. It’s very much like physics, which I used to really like at school, so I can see myself enjoying this subject.
Technical drawing is another subject I have and this uses a lot of the language I have already learnt at Parafix. It’s been nice going into another subject where I have a good basis of understanding already; everything I do in that subject is really related to Parafix. Here I started using Solid Edge, a 3D CAD programme. This is what I used to design the camera stand I mentioned above. I produced each part separately and in this programme I was able to assemble each of them to check they all fit together. My colleague Ashley, from R&D, is helping me with this.
In the short time I’ve been here I’ve learnt so much already; my colleagues Clive (Quality Co-ordinator) and Paul (Quality Technician) have been great to work with and have been willing to teach me everything they can.
I’ve got just a couple of weeks left in QA and in the New Year I’ll be moving into the Production Department. I’ve been at Parafix for four months already; I can’t believe how quickly time is flying!
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and New Year.